News and Current Affairs Essay

This essay has a total of 1857 words and 8 pages.

News and Current Affairs

Since the television was invented in 1924, news and current affairs programs have surly
become one of our main media sources. With this in mind, reporters and stations alike are
able to manipulate their audiences through a variety of techniques, to make them believe a
representation of reality as opposed to the true fact. This is evident in the current
affairs story "Video Game Violence" and the standard news story "Music Video Ban". These
similar stories both originated from Channel Nine and represent violence in society's
youth today, stating children are at risk if exposed to such material. Through a selection
of techniques, the audience is lured into supporting the told story and agreeing with the
general attitudes promoted.

Parents are the desired target audience of these stories which is evident through the
mentioning of "children" and "youth". Both news reports state that the media available to
children today has proven to be devastating on the way they portray everyday life events.
"Music Video Ban" is about a graphically violent music video produced by Perth band
Beaverloop, creating outrage in society. "Video Game Violence" is a story about the effect
of both suitable and non-suitable video games on children, supported by interviews and a
psychiatric case study. In "Music Video Ban" to heighten the seriousness of this
situation, the Columbine massacre is randomly mentioned and images of victims' families
are shown. This is to ‘help' the viewer in understanding the attitude given, and reveals
the possibilities of what can happen when access to violent media is too broad. In the
"Video Game Violence" story, images of a devastated family from an incident involving a
copy-cat murder are displayed. The ideas were taken from an R-rated Australian film known
as "Bad Boy Bubby" and were used on Perth girl Natasha in her sleep by her 17 year old
boyfriend. This is evidence enough that even the most unexpected can be influenced by
meaningless entertainment media. The stories are shown to be warnings for parents around
Australia to keep careful watch over what their children are exposed to and through
graphic examples, express that failure is not an option.

The lead in on a report is very important for its ability to give first (and often last)
impressions. This consists of the first few sentences (often containing connative terms)
spoken to introduce the story, giving a general overview of what the report will be about.
The lead in for the news story "Music Video Ban" is spoken:

"But first, the graphic music video by a Perth band showing a policeman and a teacher
being shot. It's caused outrage and landed music giant Sony in hot water with
censorship authorities."

The viewer's attention is immediately drawn to the story when "Perth" is mentioned due to
the phrase triggering a ‘close to home' effect. Policemen and teachers are seen to be
contributors to society, and to have them told to be ‘shot' is quite alarming. "Video
Game Violence" uses similar phrases in the lead in such as "in the name of entertainment",
"unseen damage" and "fear". Upon hearing these terms, the viewer becomes interested to see
how the story folds out. If a story is introduced using standard, generic vocabulary the
viewer would not become interested and therefore the story would seem meaningless. The
sole purpose of a lead in is to grab the viewer's attention, which is achieved through the
use of connative expressions to develop a relationship between the event and the viewer.

Interviewees are key involvements in portraying the story's desired attitudes, for the
viewers are able to respond to the statements given. People in places of power are often
chosen to support the attitude given by the story, as the viewers are more likely to trust
a professional opinion rather than a random quote. In "Video Game Violence" there are two
professionals interviewed - Barbara Biggins, President of Young Media Australia and Brent
Watters, a child psychiatrist that hosts a case study later on in the story. A great deal
of the time Barbara is seen in close up camera positioning, presenting an angle of
importance and heightening the dramatic impact of her interview. Barbara is seen to be of
a mature age, dressed appropriately, uses sophisticated language and generally comes
across to the viewers as a trustworthy source of information. This is supported through
her obvious yet relevant use of factual evidence:

"Children learn much better by doing rather than seeing."
Barbara's point of view is challenged by the creators of South Park, Matt Stone and Trey
Parker, but in the end only strengthens her attitudes. Matt and Trey are viewed at the
same time through a mid-shot camera angle, and are portrayed as being ‘scruffy' and
sloppy due to their casual appearance and disrespect for one-another. Only given a few
seconds, the duo is only given a short amount of time to stick up for their violent

"So they copied something they saw, if they didn't they would have copied something else!"
The statement comes across as careless, and in return is unappreciated by the audience,
only leaving Barbara's attitude to be reinforced even further. Interviewees are
manipulated by the media to present the viewers with the desired viewpoint or attitude,
often using sneaky tactics to place the agreeing experts in a greater position of power
over those against it.

The above statement is also evident in "Music Video Ban" where expert Chris Baker,
Joondalup MLA, is interviewed. Close up angles are taken of Barker to represent his
importance, where he is seen dressed in a business suit in front of his office. Barker's
stern speech proves he is very supportive towards the story attitude, and therefore he is
given a great deal of power to present his opinions. he use of expressions such as
"damaging scenes" and "nothing but garbage" truly prove Barker's point of presence on the
whole incident, placing him in direct agreement with the story attitude. This makes the
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